Just like swiss ball and thera bands, foam rollers are cross- over equipment from rehab training and from physiotherapists. It is an inexpensive, lightweight and versatile small Pilate equipment. It is just a cylinder shaped piece made of high-density foam. Foam roller can be used for stretching, self-massage, body and stability exercises.
Since it is unstable and the base of support is smaller compared to the mat it challenges the Core much more to maintain balance and thus more deeper muscles are recruited just like the Swiss Ball. It is a wonderful piece of equipment to give challenging workouts in the routines.
You will have love hate relationship with your foam roller. While it relaxes the muscles, massages the deep tissues, it gives you the feeling of acupressure.
Self -myofascial release was a technique that has been extensively used by physiotherapists, coaches and athletes. Here the trigger points or tight spots or the knots are pressed. Foam rollers help the muscles to recover faster. When these knots are pressed, we have little pain. It is not unbearable pain. It makes us feel better like stretching. When you are doing it yourself, only you know how much pressure to apply and where. Foam rollers thus help to enhance the performance. Sometimes only stretching is not sufficient. Foam rollers and thera bands are aids that help us. Foam rollers resume the normal blood flow. It provides deep compression.
Do's and don’ts
Apply moderate and bearable pressure. Do not overdo with your body weight. Do not try to test your tolerance level.
Apply more pressure and go slow over the areas that are tight and painful.
Relax and breathe throughout.
Go over the entire area.
If the area is very painful, instead of applying direct pressure, go over the surrounding area.
Never roll over bone or a joint.
If you are sore the next day, drink plenty of water to wash out the toxins.